Marfusha is a short and sweet indie game made by Japanese developer hinyari9.
You control the titular main character Marfusha, who has been conscripted into the army to defend her country’s borders in a fictional, war-ravaged dystopian world. This is a high-speed tower defense shooter, where you have to shoot down all the enemy machines before they break through the gates.
After every successful day of defense, you get paid a salary, which can then be used to purchase cards. By using these cards, you can recruit coworkers to fight by your side, buy new weapons, upgrade your weapon, or keep a dog in your room.
You get to choose one card from a random pool of three every day… if you can afford them. War is expensive, after all. Your salary goes through a series of tax deductions before reaching your hands, and the taxes only get heavier as the days go on. You’ll have to spend wisely and adapt to the ever-changing circumstances of war if you want to survive until the very end.
This is a pretty short game; one run only takes an hour or so. However, it features multiple endings that change based on who you recruit and how well you defend your objective.
You could also play Challenge Mode, which is an endless survival mode where you can unlock different characters to play as and defend the gate for as long as you can while competing against other players from around the world to get your name on the high score ranking.
Beating the story also unlocks Gallery Mode, where you can look at the stunning artwork of the game (and some bonus illustrations too!) drawn by developer and illustrator hinyari9.
The world and story of Marfusha only fully reveal themselves with multiple playthroughs, and you won’t be able to put it down until you learn everything there is to know.
By the way, the Xbox release for this game includes a brand new animated opening cinematic featuring the specially written theme song “I’ll be there” by singer-songwriter Kokia, who has written music for various video games such as Tales of Innocence.
Can you survive and defend your country until the end?
Marfusha is now available on Xbox!